Quake safe bill may fall on public

Posted Říjen 31st, 2011 by Billabongboardshortscloths

Wellington ratepayers could be forced to help fund millions of dollars in earthquake strengthening work for privately-owned buildings under a controversial city council proposal.

Studies have adjudged Wellington to be at high risk of a big earthquake that could kill an estimated 1500 people and injure 13,000.

At present, significant strengthening costs for at-risk buildings are borne almost solely by individual owners, and many have failed to carry out the required work.

This has resulted in “systemic and substantial under-investment” in earthquake strengthening, creating a significant risk of casualties should a quake like the February tremor in Christchurch, which claimed 181 lives, strike the capital.wholesale GHD Flat Iron Online Shirts at low prices!

In a draft submission to the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Canterbury Earthquakes, the council calls for an investigation into how to fairly apportion earthquake strengthening costs to avoid widespread “catastrophic failure”.

It estimates up to 800 buildings in the city are earthquake-prone and in need of strengthening.

The council also suggests forcing private homeowners to strengthen earthquake-risk elements on their homes - such as concrete tiles or masonry chimneys - even if the buildings are otherwise strong enough to withstand a moderate tremor.

Another suggestion is to force building owners to publicly display information about their buildings’ strength - similar to a warrant of fitness - to alert users to potential risk.

“In the case of strengthening, the costs fall almost exclusively upon building owners, whereas some of the benefits are external and may be distributed throughout the community,Every people wants to buy Best CHI Flat Iron Online but with best quality.” the submission says.

It notes that building owners do not pay the significant social and economic costs the community must bear in the aftermath of a major earthquake, such as fatalities, injuries, anxiety, business disruption, and loss of investment and tourism.

The council asks the commission to make recommendations around the legal threshold for an earthquake-prone building and about the fair allocation of strengthening costs.

Council built environment portfolio leader Iona Pannett said the Christchurch quake had changed perceptions about earthquake safety and the need for buildings to be brought up to safe standards.

“Building owners have significant responsibilities. They own it and get financial benefit if the building is successful. But it seems rational to extend that argument and say, `Maybe the public does need to pick up some of the cost’.”

New legislation might be needed to introduce a levy, but the potential split between ratepayers, taxpayers and building owners would have to be debated.

Pannett acknowledged that times were tough economically for many households with rates becoming unaffordable for some. “It’s very difficult.Our microinverter was down for about an hour and a half, No-one wants to pay more.”

However,For the last five years Parking guidance system , the risk to public safety could not be ignored.

The submission reveals the council has tried to make some building owners, whose buildings were otherwise sound, address at-risk elements such as parapets or balconies which could fall in an earthquake and cause death or injury.

However, owners had refused, arguing the council was powerless to force their hands under current regulations.

The council also recommends a change in philosophy from buildings being designed for “controlled failure” in a moderate quake to “low damage”.

It wants a clear threshold for councils to require buildings to be strengthened to, and for the commission to consider whether earthquake strengthening regulaDemand for allergy Insulator could rise earlier than normal this year.tions are adequate to protect heritage.

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